Skip to content

Camerata Ensemble

Camerata Ensemble

The First Step

The Camerata Ensemble, led by conductor Marisa McLeod, is comprised of musicians who are early in their musical training.  It introduces students to the basics of ensemble playing, following a conductor, and listening across a musical group while playing.  New this year is the addition of wind players to this ensemble who are coached by Karen Dutton.  Students in the Camerata Ensemble must have at least one (1) year of experience on their instrument (either in a group setting or private lessons).

Program Highlights

  • Weekly rehearsals led by conductor Marisa McLeod and instrument-specific sectionals led by local professional musicians.
  • Three public performances at venues throughout Santa Barbara.
  • Students and their families are provided opportunities to attend masterclasses, Santa Barbara Symphony concerts at reduced cost, and other musical community events.

Participant Guidelines

  • Level: beginner, with at least one year of experience on their instrument.
  • Open to woodwind, brass, percussion, and string instrumentalists.
  • Rehearsal commitment is Sunday from 1-2:30pm. Students rehearse during the school year from September through May.
  • Students are also expected to practice their instruments and review assigned material outside of scheduled programming.
  • COVID-19 UPDATE: Student safety is our priority and we continue to closely monitor guidelines from the Public Health Department. Fall 2021 instruction will be conducted in-person with social distancing and safety precautions in place.

2021-2022 Audition Information

Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students, teachers, and staff during COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021-22 season auditions are moved to the online platform, Acceptd.  This platform allows students to upload their video audition, answer application questions, and apply for tuition scholarships all in one place.

Audition Requirements

  • Visit the Acceptd website to complete your application and upload your audition video.  Applications will be considered for each new rehearsal term.
  • Scales and Arpeggios:
    • String players prepare a one-octave major scale and arpeggio of your choice: A, D, C, or G or a two-octave major scale and arpeggio: C or G.
    • Woodwind and brass players prepare a one-octave major scale and arpeggio of your choice: B-flat, E-flat, or F.
  • A solo piece or excerpt, which best demonstrates both technical and musical skills on the instrument (no accompanist needed).

2021-2022 Tuition


As a non-profit, generous annual donations from Symphony supporters enable us to keep tuition fees to a minimum.  Tuition applies to the 2021-22 season. Need-based scholarships are available and information regarding these can be found on the application form. Admitted musicians will not be turned away due to finances. If tuition is a challenge, please reach out to the Education Programs Manager at 805-898-1417.

Support this program!

Would you like to join our family of donors and support this program? Annual donations at any level have a big impact. They can fund scholarships, help pay our faculty, provide instruments and more! 

Support The Santa Barbara Symphony

Your support matters now more than ever!
Please make a donation today.